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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Longer Sparge - Better efficiency
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:56 PM   #1
sonvolt
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Default Longer Sparge - Better efficiency

I brewed a Oatmeal Cream Stout today. I planned to hit about 1.054 OG. I was kegging and bottling during the sparge, so I turned my valves down really low so that I could get the kegging and bottling done. I usually sparge for 45 minutes to an hour. Today's sparge went for about 1.5 hours.

Just took a gravity reading in the kettle - 1.067

That puts me at about 74% efficiency (according to Promash) when I am usually at 65 %. Thankfully, I hopped on the high side for that style (about 51 IBUS), but I hope that this beer is not too out of balance. I wanted a good session brew, but this one is going to be rather strong.

Could my longer sparge have accounted for my efficiency increase? I did everything else the same. If this is the case, I am going to start slowing down my sparge considerable.

BTW, here is the recipe I used today:

Oatmeal Cream Stout
9 lbs. 2-Row
.50 lbs. Crystal 40L
.50 lbs. Crystal 60L
.50 lbs Chocolate Malt
.25 lbs. Crystal 120L
6 oz. Oatmeal
4 oz. Black Patent
4 oz. Roast Non-Malted Barley
3 oz. Dextrine Malt
1 lb. Lactose (added with 15 min. remaining in boil)

.50 oz. Columbus (14%) (60)
1 oz. Kent Golding (4.2%) (60)
1 oz. Fuggles (4.0%) (30)

Mash - 155
Yeast - Nottingham

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Old 12-30-2006, 08:16 PM   #2
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dumb question - did you take the gravity before or after adding the 1 lb of lactose?

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Old 12-30-2006, 08:41 PM   #3
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When fly sparging, I get about 85% efficiency if I sparge for 90 minutes.
If I cut the time down to 45 minutes, the efficiency drops to about 75%.

-a.

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Old 12-30-2006, 08:43 PM   #4
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Slower is better. It takes time for the sugar to dissolve.

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Old 12-30-2006, 09:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rod
dumb question - did you take the gravity before or after adding the 1 lb of lactose?
I took that reading after adding the lactose.
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf
When fly sparging, I get about 85% efficiency if I sparge for 90 minutes.
If I cut the time down to 45 minutes, the efficiency drops to about 75%.

-a.
What do you mean, "sparge for 90 minutes"? Isn't sparging just the process of rinsing the sugars from the grains? Do you really "sparge" for an hour and a half?
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:09 PM   #7
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i sparged for well over an hour sunday with the high gravity brew...

slower is better for getting lots out, but it depends on your original grain bill...

sparging for 90 minutes from a standard gravity batch, might extract more than just sugars after a while...

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Old 01-02-2007, 07:12 PM   #8
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yikes. That adds an hour and a half onto a 6-hour process.

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Old 01-02-2007, 09:48 PM   #9
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Do you stir or otherwise move the grainbed at all during the mash or sparge?

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Old 01-02-2007, 10:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aseelye
Do you stir or otherwise move the grainbed at all during the mash or sparge?
I do not stir . . . but I do rake it. Sometimes I use the handle end of my spoon. I insert about 4 to 6 inches into the grain bed and gently rake through it. This eliminates channeling that may occur.

As for length of sparge - an hour is recommended. I usually go closer to 45 or 50 minutes because of impatience, but after seeing my efficiency on that last batch, I think the extra 25-30 minutes will be time well spent.
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